Frozen fruits and vegetables vs. fresh ones
There are a lot of nutrition myths out there! So, when it comes to eating healthy foods, many people face difficulty.
If you think about it, fruits and vegetables are the healthiest food you can eat. They are all organic and have the essential elements needed for a healthy lifestyle. They are abundant in vitamins and minerals so of course they will be healthy, right?
Many people have reason to believe that frozen fruits and vegetables are not as nutritious as the fresh ones. Where this idea came from is unclear but we’ve thoroughly studied the theory and here are the findings.
Generally, harvesters pick fruits and vegetables before they are fully ripe. This gives them enough time to fully ripen during transportation. However, there’s a disadvantage to this step. Since the fresh produce doesn’t get enough time to fully ripen up, they fail to produce the full range of essential minerals and vitamins.
On the other hand, harvesters pick produce for frozen fruits and vegetables when they are completely ripe. This means they still have all the essential minerals and vitamins. The freezing process begins right after harvesting and thus within hours, the fresh produce is watched, cut and frozen. The freezing process doesn’t include adding chemicals to the vegetables and fruits.
Where fresh vegetables and fruits don’t fully develop essential minerals and vitamins, frozen produce does.
Storing fresh produce for a longer period of time increases the chances of spoiling. The nutrient levels are also expected to drop within the first few days of harvesting.
For frozen fruits and vegetables, the case is the same. Although freezing the produce helps to retain the nutrient level, it can start to break down after a year. Vegetables are blanched before freezing, which can also contribute to nutrient loss. Frozen fruits however aren’t blanched and it’s safe to say that they are safe from the effects of blanching, i.e., nutrient loss.
The evidence suggests that nutrient loss happen for both the produces, fresh and frozen. Studies found that for both the produces, levels of certain vitamins and antioxidants continued to decline.
Now you have both sides of the story. Where fruits and vegetables are not picked when fully ripe, they lose their essential vitamins and minerals over time. Harvesters pick frozen fruits and vegetables at the peak of their ripeness and hence are full of minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. With all the evidence in front of you, it’s up to you to decide the best option. It’s better to go for fresh and ripe produce, but if that’s not available, going for the frozen alternative won’t do you any harm. Make sure you check the expiration date before you purchase any frozen item!
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